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Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly,
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses : But, for their virtue only is their show;
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so ;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made :
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth;
When that shall fade, my verse distils your truth.
That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold;
Bare, ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-bye black night doth take away;
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie; As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich-proud cost of out-worn buried age ; When sometime lofty towers I see down-rased,
And brass eternal, slave to mortal rage ;When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, had the firm soil even of the watery main
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ;When I have seen such interchange of state,
Cr state itself confounded to decay ;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate ;
That time will come, and take my love away. This thought is as a death, which cannot choose But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
Thou, too, great father of the British floods !
With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods;
Where towering oaks their growing honours rear,
And future navies on thy shores appear.
Not Neptune's self from all his streams receives
A wealthier tribute than to thine he gives.
No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear,
No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear.
Nor Po so swells the fabling poet's lays,
While led along the skies his current strays,
As thine, which visits Windsor's famed abodes,
the mansion of our earthly gods :
Nor all his stars above a lustre show,
Like the bright beauties on the banks below;
Where Jove, subdued by mortal passion still,
Might change Olympus for a nobler hill.
Happy the man whom this bright court approves,
His sovereign favours, and his country loves :
Happy, next him, who to these shades retires,
Whom Nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires :
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please,
Successive study, exercise, and ease.
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields ;
With chemic art exalts the mineral powers,
And draws the aromatic souls of flowers.
Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high ;
O'er figured worlds now travels with his eye ;
Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store,
Consults the dead, and lives past ages o'er :
Or, wandering thoughtful in the silent wood,
Attends the duties of the wise and good,
To observe a mean,
be to himself a friend,
To follow nature, and regard his end :
Or looks on heaven with more than mortal eyes,
Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies,
Amid her kindred stars familiar roam,
Survey the region, and confess her home.
POPE. From 1688 to 1744.
TIME the supreme !—Time is eternity;
Pregnant with all eternity can give;
Pregnant with all that makes archangels smile :
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
A power ethereal, only not adored.
Ah ! how unjust to nature and himself
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports,
We censure nature for a span too short:
That span too short, we tax as tedious too;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
To lash the lingering moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy riddance !) from ourselves.
Art, brainless art ! our furious charioteer
(For nature's voice unstifled would recall),
Drives headlong towards the precipice of death;
Death, most our dread; death, thus more dreadful made :
O what a riddle of absurdity!
Leisure is pain ; takes off our chariot wheels :
How heavily we drag the load of life!
Blest leisure is our curse ; like that of Cain,
It makes us wander; wander earth around
To fly that tyrant, thought. As Atlas groan'd
The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.
mercy to the next amusement:
The next amusement mortgages our fields ;
Slight inconvenience ! prisons hardly frown,
From hateful time if prisons set us free.
Yet when death kindly tenders us relief,
We call him cruel ; years to moments shrink,
Ages to years. The telescope is turn'd.
To man's false optics (from his folly false)
Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age :
Behold him, when past by; what then is seen
But his broad pinions swifter than the winds !
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast! cry out on his career.
EDWARD YOUNG. From 1681 to 1765.
Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare !
Scared from the corn, and now to some lone seat
Retired: the rushy fen; the ragged furze,
Stretch'd o'er the stony heath; the stubble chapt ;
The thistly lawn; the thick-entangled broom;
Of the same friendly hue, the wither'd fern;
The fallow ground laid open to the sun,
Concoctive; and the nodding sandy bank,
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.
Vain is her best precaution; though she sits
Conceal'd with folded ears ; unsleeping eyes,
By Nature raised to take the horizon in;
And head couch'd close between her hairy feet,
In act to spring away. The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth ; and deep,
In scatter'd sullen openings, far behind,
With every breeze she hears the coming storm.
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads
The sighing gale, she springs amazed, and all
The savage soul of game is up at once :
The pack full-opening, various; the shrill horn
Resounded from the hills ; the neighing steed,
Wild for the chase; and the loud hunter's shout;
O’er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all
Mix'd in mad tumult, and discordant joy.
The stag, too, singled from the herd where long
He ranged, the branching monarch of the shades,
Before the tempest drives. At first, in speed
He, sprightly, puts his faith; and, roused by fear,
Gives all his swift aërial soul to flight;
Against the breeze he darts, that
To leave the lessening murderous cry behind :
Deception short! though fleeter than the winds,
Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountain by the north,
He bursts the thickets, glances through the glades,
And plunges deep into the wildest wood;
If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the track
Hot steaming, up behind him come again
The inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Expel him circling through his every shift.
THOMSON. From 1700 to 1748.